Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice /forum/post/18109111
Manufacturing the average direct radiator entails less than two man-hours of labor, the average horn more than twelve. The parts count of a horn is on average three times that of a direct radiator. That's why in the pro-sound realm the majority of cabs in the under $2,000 range are direct radiators, with horns used only for the high frequency sections. The higher the price range the more likely you are to find horns.
As to the 'watts are cheap' argument, that went the way of the dodo with two-dollar a gallon gas. Pro-touring sound companies had to find ways to reduce their rig sizes to hold down transportation costs. Line arrays instead of cluster arrays were part one of that equation, horns were part two. Horns aren't larger than direct radiators for equal output, they're smaller, and they use a lot less power for equal output, which also reduces the power supply requirements of major venues.